Hair loss causes

What are the cause of hair loss

Hair loss can be caused by several reasons: genetic trait, diseases, stress, injury, medicines and aging.

The most common cause of hair loss, or alopecia, is genetic; this means that is inherited. Alopecia can be inherited from both sides of family and can effect women and men. The way in which it effects the members of the same family is random: it could skip a generation, it could effect a sibling and not the other. Moreover hair loss within the same family could be caused by different reasons.

Androgenetic is a type of hair loss due to a susceptibility of the hair follicle to an androgenetic miniaturization. It is the most common type of stuttering and affects 70% of males and 40% of women at some point in their lives.


Male pattern baldness

Androgenetic hair loss in men begins over the temples and at the vertex of the scalp. As it progresses, a strip of hair on the sides and behind the head is kept. This condition is called ‘hippocratic crown’, and rarely advances to a complete baldness.


Female pattern baldness

Androgenic alopecia in women called ‘female baldness’, although its features may also occur in men. It is usually a widespread thinning without a recession of the attachment, and as the male counterpart rarely leads to a complete baldness (alopecia totalis).


Other causes of hair loss

  • Traction alopecia

Traction alopecia is a type of alopecia that occurs in the form of an alteration characterized by the presence of irregular areas with thin, partially broken and largely missing hair.


It is quite common, especially in feminine subjects, as it is more common in them to use extensions, clips, elastic …

The cause is therefore not an excessive and localized baldness, but rather an alteration in the process of hair regrowth, due to traction, perhaps even modest, but constantly applied.


The damage does not manifest itself immediately, but it is the result of slow and profound anatomical changes in the follicle, which takes on time dystrophic features.

Many empty infundibular channels are observed and many follicles are seriously damaged, therefore fine, weak, twisted hairs are originated.


The surrounding tissue is then replaced by fibrous – scar tissue. This results in the impossibility of generating a hair again.


Traction alopecia should therefore be recognized, intervening before an irreversible damage occurs.


  • Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is an obsessive-compulsive disorder, characterized by an irrepressible impulse to pull and tear hair from the scalp. The pathological event may be directed to eradicate eyebrows, eyelashes, beards, and other body hair, including those covering the abdomen, legs, arms, armpits or pubic areas.

Sometimes, this condition is self-limiting, but it is always advisable to resort to a doctor who can advise on the most appropriate therapy.


  • Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a pathology in which the sudden fall of hair, or other body hair, typically manifests itself in glabrous patches or areas, from which it takes its the name. Usually, the first spots appear in the scalp and, in most cases, resolves spontaneously, without showing any signs of scarring [2]. In about 1% of cases the disease may extend to the entire scalp (total alopecia, AT) or the whole body (universal alopecia, AU) with total loss of all body hair.


  • Scarring alopecia

Scarring alopecia is due to the destruction of the hair follicle and its replacement with scar tissue, resulting in permanent hair loss. In some cases of scarring alopecia, hair loss is progressive and asymptomatic and remains unnoticed. In other cases, scarring alopecia is accompanied by itching, burning and pain and progresses rapidly. In the scarring alopecia, the inflammation that destroys the follicular sacs is under the skin and the scar is not visible. The skin affected by the scarring alopecia is usually reddened, it shows flaking, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Scarring alopecia has its appearance in men and women of all ages, which are healthy in every respect.

Scarring alopecia can be distinguished in secondary, primary and subcutaneous alopecia. In the primary, the cause is usually endogenous. An inflammation attacks the hair follicle, destroying it. In secondary alopecia the cause is exogenous, eg. a trauma, an inflammation, a wound, a burn, a traction, or a neoplasm.


  • Hypothyroidism

Brittle and dry hair, which weakens and falls easily, is a common symptom of thyroid disease.

Capillary follicles are particularly sensitive to the health of the body and tend to slow down their activity in the presence of significant psycho-physical stress. In this way it is possible to allocate more energy resources to support vital functions. It is not surprising, then, that increased hair loss is common in the presence of nutritional deficiencies, infections, surgery, burns, hormonal changes and various diseases, including thyroid.

The patient may complain of a bad state of health of their hair both in the presence of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. In addition to the possible increase in fall, which usually occurs in tufts, hair may become fragile, smooth and opaque.

Although in the vast majority of people hair loss is an almost physiological event, it is not necessary to underestimate the hypothesis of underlying thyroid disease, especially in the presence of familiarity with this kind of disorders.

The treatment of thyroid disorders very often stops hair loss, although it takes a few months to appreciate some aesthetic improvement. However, some medicines used to treat such diseases – such as eutrox (levothyroxine) – may favor hair loss, especially if taken in inappropriate amounts. For this reason, once the correct therapeutic dose has been found, the problem persists, it is necessary to present it to the physician and undergo a dermatological examination to exclude other predisposing conditions.

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